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Focus in 2016 initiated and engaged more vigorously in endeavors that challenged the impunity of state and non-state actors in the region. One of the main approaches in doing this was working closely with human rights organizations and networks of rights defenders and activists.

Saturday, 2017 Nov 18th

Across Asia, we are seeing the repression, denial, abuse and violation of rights of peoples and communities through criminalization, intimidation, disappearances, violence, and even murder. 

Friday, 2017 Nov 10th

In Asia today, the list of the disappeared, murdered, assaulted, harassed, imprisoned, and tortured continues to

Thursday, 2017 Nov 09th

Hundreds of representatives of social movements from across the world converged in Geneva to challenge corporate power and reclaim people's sovereignty.

Thursday, 2017 Nov 09th

For Immediate release

“Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Value Extraction from the Mekong: A Case Study on the Control and Exploitation of Land and Labour
 in Cambodia and Myanmar SEZs”

Friday, 2017 Oct 20th

According to data compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), enough food is produced in the world to feed everyone and yet, over 800 million people suffer from hunger, 60 % of who are women ().

Sunday, 2017 Oct 15th

On the day of his birthday, 17th September, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam, and dedicated this act to the nation. The dam - the second largest in the world - will submerge vast areas of land, displacing thousands of people as a result.

Monday, 2017 Sep 18th

This booklet is intended to serve as a basic background resource for grassroots groups, to make links between gender and agroecology, and to understand agroecology's potential to address gender inequalities.

Monday, 2017 Sep 18th

On the day of his birthday, 17th September, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam, and dedicated this act to the nation.

farmers marching for agrarian reform

Malolos, Bulacan— Around 150 farmers, women, senior citizens, and children who were part of a "Lakbayan" (march) from Bataan to Malacanang to request President Rodrigo Duterte to help get the lands

Screengrab of webinar

Civil society organizations from Indonesia, Philippines, and Europe criticized the European Union’s Multilateral Investment Court proposal as an attempt to multilateralise the investor-State disput

Rubber plantation in Southern Lao PDR

On 21 March, the International Day of Forests, 200 organisations are

22 February 2017, Manila, Philippines - Civil society and grassroots organizations from across Asia gathered in Manila for a two-day strategy meeting, February 21 and 22, to discuss a global campai

Jakarta, December 8th: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated in Jakarta, Indonesia this week (December 2-10)[i].

 

Press Conference

Organised by: The Sombath Initiative

11am, Wednesday 31 August, 2016, Bangkok

 

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a regional mechanism, which
was created in 2001 and consists of the following:

People's Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It was inspired by the need to solve the border disputes lingering between the Soviet Union's successor states and China in the wake of the end of the Cold War. Originally a Chinese initiative, taken after resolving their border problems with Central Asia and Russia, it was also profitable for the Central Asian States, which were lacking in consistency, stability and resources in the mid-nineties and struggling to establish multilateral and bilateral relations beyond the region. It was also designed as a platform to balance the role of the United States in the Central Asian region.

Main findings of this paper :

  • The SCO has been able to meet with its initial objective to establish geopolitical multipolarity in Central Asia and check the US advance into the region.
  • It is a reflection of the emerging multi-polar world.
  • Its increasingly acquiring strength is suggestive of becoming a major political force of the Eurasian region.
  • The SCO will play a vital role in ensuring international security.


Download the paper here

china-dottieEdited by Dorothy-Grace Guerrero and Firoze Manji

China's New Role in Africa and the South: A search for a new perspective

China's global expansion is much talked about, but usually from the viewpoint of the West. This unique collection of essays, written by scholars
and activists from China and the global South, provides diverse views on the challenges faced by Africa, Latin America and Asia as a result of China's rise as a significant global economic power. Chinese aid, trade and investments - driven by the needs of its own economy - present both threats and opportunities for the South, requiring a nuanced analysis that goes beyond simplistic caricatures of ‘good' and ‘evil'.

Essay collection presented by the Reclaiming Public Water Network
November 2007

The Focus Annual Report 2006 has just been released.

'At the Door of all the East': The Philippines in United States Military Strategy

This report seeks to document and explain why and how the United States has been attempting to re-establish its military presence in the Philippines in the period beginning in 2001. Diverging from the common explanation attributing increased US military presence in the country to the so-called “global war on terror,” this report instead locates US actions in the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific region in the larger context of the US’ objectives and strategy.

The self-avowed aim of the US is to perpetuate its position of being the world’s sole superpower in order to re-order the world. Its strategy to perpetuate its status is to prevent the rise of any rivals.  To do this, it is seeking the capacity to deter and defeat potential enemies anywhere in the world by retaining and realigning  its “global posture” or its ability to operate across the globe through its worldwide network of forward-deployed troops, bases, andaccess agreements. Today, the US believes that, of all its potential rivals, China poses the greatest threat and must therefore be contained before it becomes even more powerful.

Introduction

 
Three-quarters of the world’s 852 million men and women suffering from hunger are found in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their survival. Most of them are landless farmers or have such tiny or unproductive plots of land that they cannot feed their families”. This was the assessment of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released at the second International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in March 2006.

A report for Focus on the Global South by Isabelle Delforge

From small farms to fast food chains and supermarkets

Contents
Building Community: The Search for Alternative Regionalism in Southeast Asia 1
Jenina Joy Chavez
Neo-liberalism and the Working People of Southeast Asia
Rene Ofreneo
China and Southeast Asia: Emerging Problems in an Economic Relation
Walden Bello
thumb_lebenon-reportLEBANON: AGGRESSION AND RESISTANCE
Final Report of the International Civil Society and Parliamentary Peace Mission to Lebanon
Contents
LEBANON: AGGRESSION AND RESISTANCE
Final Report of the International Civil Society and Parliamentary Peace Mission to Lebanon
Annex 1: Statement and Recommendations
Annex 2: Declaration of La Via Campesina
NASRALLAH: NEW ARAB WORLD HERO
By Seema Mustafa
UNBROKEN SPIRITS FILL HIGHWAYS OF DEATH
By Seema Mustafa
TRACING A TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION
By Walden Bello

Pages

Declaration of the “The Community of International Academics” 
13th International Conference on Thai Studies 
and Scholars on Thai Studies
“Return the Space of Knowledge, Rights, and Civil Liberties to Thai Society”

Attac France have released a statement (in French), in support of Pablo Solón. 

Mardi 11 Juillet 2017, par Attac France

 

The following open letter has been issued and signed by scholars, academics, and civil society members from across the world in support of the five academics and researchers who have been summoned by the military following the International Conference of Thai Studies (ICTS13), and to object to attempts by the state to control spaces of learning.

We the undersigned express our alarm and dismay at the Summons issued by Col Suebsakul Buarawong, deputy commander of the 33rd Military Circle in Chiang Mai, to Dr Chayan Vaddhanaphuti, Pakawadee Veerapatpong, Chaipong Samnieng, Nontawat Machai, and Thiramon Bua-ngam. They are accused of violating the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) chief's Order No.3/2015, Thailand’s military regime's ban on political gatherings of five or more persons. Conviction on the charges issued against these five scholars carries a potential six months in prison.

Statement from iDEFEND on the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, the Philippines

On Tuesday night, President Rodrigo Duterte declared Martial Law on the entire Mindanao Island while on a state visit in Russia, following the fighting between the military and the Maute group.

It has to be clarified that the clashes were triggered by law enforcement operation in Marawi. This is a situation started by the government itself. Similarly, the Maute group is a local terrorist group, and not ISIS, even as the former tries to ally itself with ISIS.

 

It’s been over a year since the late afternoon on 16 April 2016 when Den Kamlae went missing on his way to collect forest items. Material evidence was later discovered between 23-25 March 2017. Today, these important materials are still under examination by forensic scientists and the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS).

On 14 March 2017, the International Day of Action for Rivers, we, the Save the Mekong Coalition along with civil society and community partners from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, make this statement to express our gratitude to the Mekong River and the way of life she supports. The Mekong is our mother river, home to unique biodiversity and a lifeline for millions of people throughout the river basin. We recognize the efforts of Mekong communities who are working to protect and preserve the unique ecosystems and resources of the river for future generations. 

 

Joint Organizations

July 11, 2016 - We, the undersigned Cambodian civil society groups, are outraged at the brutal murder of independent political analyst and grassroots organiser Kem Ley yesterday morning, and call for a prompt, thorough and independent inquiry into his death.

Kem Ley, 46, was shot twice, in his chest and his head, in a heavily-frequented Caltex petrol station cafe in central Phnom Penh shortly before 9.00 on Sunday morning.

Secretariat: c/o NFBM #1066-B, Emerald St., Taglesville Subd., Balanga City, Bataan

5th July 2016

Dear Friends,

5th July 2016

Translated from Filipino

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) strongly condemns the treacherous murder of our comrade Gloria Capitan of Mariveles, Bataan!

Labor Day statement of Independent Senatorial Candidate Walden Bello

 Today, I march side by side with our workers to affirm their struggle for labor rights and continue the fight for dignity for our working class.

Labor day is a celebration of what the labor movement has won over decades of struggle.

Not many people know this but the fact that it is illegal to force workers to work for more than 8 hours and that they have to be paid more if they work beyond that is something that workers—through collective action—achieved.

You may sign this statement by clicking here

Suffering the brunt of the ongoing El Nino, more than 6 thousand farmers converged along a national highway in Kidapawan in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines on March 30 to demand 15,000 sacks of rice and financial subsidy promised to them six months earlier by the provincial government. They urgently need this assistance to tide them over until they are able to plant and harvest rice again.